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Unshackled #17: 250+ companies hiring, fraud in H-1B, & free webinars.

May 3, 2023

The date for the launch event of Unshackled’s book and community is set: July 22nd, 2023 (Saturday evening) near San Francisco, California. This will be an invite-only event where we curate the attendees so they get the most out of it. Specifically, we want to invite immigrants applying for talent visas (O-1, EB-1, EB-1 NIW), starting companies, or in general wanting to take charge of their immigration journey. If you’re interested to attend, hit reply and let me know. I’ll put you on the early list for tickets!Also, we just crossed 6,500 members in this newsletter! 🥂 Welcome to the 261 people who joined us since last week. It’s great to have you all here — and I hope you find value in this edition. 💚

 Immigration is a complex world. So every Wednesday, I try to simplify that by sharing top stories, curated resources, & fun tweets from the internet that matter to you. I also sprinkle it with updates on my upcoming book Unshackled, at the end. If you want to get this straight to your email inbox, come sign up! You can read all past editions here. 💃 

This week's TL;DR

📌 Stories you should know about

H-1B 2023 application numbers are out: over 780,000 for 85,000 slotsThe 2023 H-1B lottery application numbers are out, and shocking. Over 780,000 applications were submitted this year for the 85,000 visas (and 65,000 if you only have a bachelor’s degree). That gives you a chance of ~11% to get picked. What’s worse is that, of the 780,000 entries, over 400,000 entries were from candidates who put in multiple applications. (Side note: it’s legal to submit multiple applications when you have legitimate job offers. The issue arises when some overseas consulting firms rig the system by putting in fake ones)US eases Visa process: Expands interview waiver program till the end of the year​Good news if you’re renewing your visa! U.S. has expanded the scope of its visa waiver program, letting more subsets of travelers use them. For example, if you have a “clearance received” or “department authorization” stamp on any of your previous visas, you can waive the interview now. Or, if you’re renewing a visa in the same category within 48 months, you’re eligible for the waiver. Also, check the end of this article for the wait times for booking an appointment!Enhancing Legal Immigration: Congressman calls for increased H-1B visa cap​It’s not a surprise to see a ton of Congressmen and Congresswomen calling for a raise in the H-1B cap after seeing the 2023 numbers. There are gaping holes in the program: immigrants can’t rely on it anymore as a stable option, companies find it difficult to retain good talent, and abuse only continues to rise with a few bad actors overflowing the system with 10+ applications. All of this has called for serious reform. Although USCIS says they’ll do it this year, only time will tell.

🎁 Resources curated for you

Free Webinar: Self-Petition Green Card Options [May 4th, 2023 11:00 AM PST]​If you’re on this newsletter, there’s a good chance you want to self-petition for your green card at some point! Start that journey by attending a free webinar that walks you through the options (EB-1A and EB-2 NIW), criteria, timelines, and filing tips.Free Webinar: F1 to Green Card: Roadmap with Immigration Attorney Phil Kuck [May 6th, 2023 09:00 AM PST]​If you’re a student on an F-1 visa, this is for you! Most students wait until after getting their H-1B to begin thinking about a green card. However, if you know you want to settle down in the U.S., get a headstart by attending this free webinar and understanding your options!​​Affected by layoff? List of 250+ companies hiring in the U.S.Just in the last 4 months, an insane 185,000+ workers have been laid off, mainly in the tech sector. And it only keeps increasing every day. Fortunately, thanks to some generous souls who took the effort to compile this, here’s a list of 250+ companies that are still hiring in the U.S. (mostly in the SaaS space). Please share this with a friend who got affected by the layoff!💡 None of the information shared in this newsletter is meant to be legal advice. If you're looking for legal advice, speak to a lawyer, or hit reply and let me know so I can connect you with one.

📕 What's the latest on Unshackled?

As of today, copyediting is complete and my designers have begun hand-crafting each page of the book on Figma!Unlike a regular black-and-white book, Unshackled will be filled with visual elements: illustrations, infographics, roadmaps, etc. Below is a sample page of what the final book will look like:

While the book is being completed, I’ve been focusing my energy entirely on setting up the Unshackled community and planning the big launch event in California. In fact, we sent out email invites to ~25 members who purchased the Lifetime Community Membership beginning to onboard them into the community. We want to do it in phases so that everyone gets the attention they need and feel welcomed into the community.To be honest, I miss the book writing phase: it was simple, contemplative, and quiet. It was just me sitting in my chair, staring into space, thinking, and researching. But, I’m also getting settled into this new phase which is fast-paced, energetic, and filled with meeting new people.​Hey, by the way, if you haven't yet, be the 876th person to pre-order the book below. 👇

Get Unshackled

Thank you so much for reading till here.Got a burning question? Did you come across a resource that seemed useful? Want to say hi?Whatever it is, email me. I read and respond to every email.And, if you enjoyed reading this email, forward it to one friend. It helps more than you know.Until next week, stay awesome.​Yours truly,Soundarya 💚

👀 Fun corners of the internet

Caption: Bypassing the system, one sip at a time. Source: Robert Webber


Unshackled is the name of a book and its accompanying online community. On here, you’ll find articles on everything from building your profile for an O-1A visa to starting a company on your H-1B. Want to get such resources directly in your Inbox? Join 7000 immigrants who hear from us every Wednesday.

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